Joy for drinkers as pints and spirits stay the same price as Autumn Statement boost revealed for alcohol | The Sun

BOOZERS up and down Britain rejoiced today as Jeremy Hunt confirmed the price of pints and spirits will stay the same.

In a major win for The Sun's Save Our Sups campaign, the Chancellor confirmed a freeze on alcohol tax – and extended the business rates relief for pubs at the Autumn Statement.

Hunt gave a direct shout out to The Sun's campaign as he announced the pub-friendly measure, which will save Britain's boozers £4.3billion.

Beer bosses had warned the average pint in Britain could shoot up by 20p overnight unless Mr Hunt stepped in.

In his Autumn Statement Jeremy Hunt announced:

  • The biggest ever price hike for tobacco products
  •  A major win for The Sun's Save Our Sups campaign with alcohol duty frozen
  •  A major benefit change for renters on Universal Credit
  •  A £10,000 energy bill discount for Brits living near pylons
  • A £350 income boost for self-employed workers
  • A £470 payment boost for millions on Universal Credit
  • Millions will be stripped of benefits under harsh new rules
  • Nurses will save £500 in a personal income tax cut
  • No fuel duty hike in huge relief for drivers

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The average price of pint of lager had already skyrocketed 50p in a year to £4.63, according to official figures, as pubs have passed on higher costs.

In London some pubs have started charging an average £8 per pint.

The price of the average pint has risen by £1 in the past decade and doubled since the recession, the last time pub-goers across the country were forced to rein in spending on pints. 



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A shocking 124 million fewer beers were sold in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the year before.

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The figure reflects a six per cent overall decline and a tragic 20-year low.

Thanks to alcohol duty staying frozen, fears of imminent price hikes have finally been squashed.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: "The alcohol duty freeze comes as a huge relief to wine and spirit businesses and the hospitality sector who have taken a battering over the last few years.

"We are extremely relieved that the Government – and Exchequer Secretary, Gareth Davies in particular – has listened to our and The Sun's pleas not to hit wine and spirit businesses and consumers with another painful duty increase.

"The Sun had it spot in its support of a duty freeze and backing frustrated British consumers, who are fed up with never ending price rises.

"British businesses are struggling with mounting supply chain costs on top of the introduction of an admin-heavy new alcohol tax regime and huge hike in August.

"Latest data shows a worrying decline in sales which would result in less revenue for the Exchequer. A second duty rise would have been disastrous.

"We implore the Chancellor to lock in the freeze until at least the end of this Parliament.

"This will keep people in jobs and mean consumers will still be able to enjoy a drink at a price they can afford."

Stephen Russell of UK Spirits Alliance said: "We raise a toast to the Chancellor today for his decision to freeze duty and thank him for listening to thousands of distillers, landlords and bar owners up and down the UK.

"He has raised the spirits of the sector, and his decision today is a vote of confidence in this vibrant homegrown sector.

"Today’s freeze will drive growth in the industry, support jobs and help consumers at a time when household budgets continue to be squeezed."

Diageo GB boss Nuno Teles said: "Today we raise a glass to the Chancellor and the Prime Minister.

"They have listened to the industry’s plea for support and decided to back our homegrown sector, that employs so many people across the UK.

"Drinkers and pub-goers across the country now have even more reason to celebrate this festive season. Cheers Chancellor!"

Boudewijn Haarsma, Managing Director, HEINEKEN UK, said: “The Chancellor’s decision to heed our calls to freeze duty and continue business rates support is a vote of confidence in pubs, brewers and cidermakers.

"We can now look to plan our investments in 2024 with more certainty.

"Jeremy Hunt was right to highlight the importance of the Great British pint, our pubs sit at the heart of so many communities across the country and the moves made today mean publicans and pubgoers in all corners of the UK will be raising a glass.”

Tory MPs this week lined up to join industry leaders calling for booze duty to stay frozen.

Greg Smith told The Sun: “Pubs are the lifeblood of our towns and villages, but many find themselves teetering on the edge as the cost of living bites and we recover from the pandemic.

“It is essential the Chancellor supports our pubs and breweries and freezes or cuts beer duty and extends business rates relief.

“When rural pubs are gone, they are generally gone for good – and that would be a nightmare for the communities I represent."

Henry Smith said: “Pubs are a vital social hub and source of employment and prosperity across my constituency, but have faced over three years of harsh economic conditions since the pandemic.

“This is why the Autumn Statement provides a perfect opportunity for the Government to support pubs, and the massive value they bring to pubs across the whole of the country.”

Anthony Magnall added: “Pubs and pints have to be a large focus in the autumn statement.

"Protecting our British pubs and supporting our brewers is not just common sense but economic sense."

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